McCarthy said: ‘The case for investing in energy-efficiency is compelling, and lighting is the most common way to improve energy efficiency.’
But he said that lack of finance is a key obstacle that prevents projects from progressing, particularly in the current economic climate, when non-core investments may be sidelined. ‘Projects also stall due to lack of awareness or knowhow,’ he said. ‘Various barriers prevent something like 60 per cent of projects from going ahead to implementation.’
The Carbon Trust offers support and advice for companies that want to implement energy-efficiency schemes. It also runs an accredited supplier scheme. Alongside this it can offer – thanks to a partnership with Siemens Financial Services – structured finance packages which are designed so that savings exceed repayments, following an independent assessment of the energy-saving potential.
Paul Smyth of Salix Finance, which was also represented in the discussion on funding for lighting projects, said that streetlighting and LED lighting is a focus for his clients, with spend on such projects amounting to £7.2m and £5.2m respectively as of year-end 2012/2013. He notes a change of emphasis in chosen lighting solutions, with LED now representing more than half of such solutions due to the cost, lumens per watt and efficiency gains. T5, in comparison, represented 48 per cent of projects in the year ending 2012/13 – for the first time, less than LED equivalents.
He says Salix clients have now delivered £1bn of financial savings for the public sector and the organisation is now launching a new website with an online application process which is designed to be easy-to-use and more case studies and guidance.
‘We find that for every £1 you invest you save £4 over the lifetime of a particular technology,’ he said.